Coggeshall is the charming and historic market town of Essex that is petite in population but with bucket loads of charm. Gorgeously unspoilt with easy accessibility to both Colchester and London, there are many reasons why house hunters are now noticing its unique appeal.
The year 2020 has shown us that the need for community is greater than ever before. Lockdown highlighted how isolated some people can become and the importance of being involved in your neighbourhood. Coggeshall has an incredible number of local organisations and groups to join. From football to flower arranging, from bingo to bellringing, there is something for everyone to be a part of. ArtSpace supports the Coggeshall community to encourage arts and culture to flourish and Coggeshall in Bloom is a small team with the objective of fostering the ‘Britain in Bloom’ philosophy. Even if you don’t want to get involved in a group, there’s opportunity for friendly interaction every Thursday at the specialist food market. Stalls include fruit and veg, fresh fish, cheese, locally made jam, bread and pastries and freshly made Indian delicacies.
The great outdoors
One of the biggest learnings of the pandemic is that access to outdoor space is imperative to health and happiness. Living in this wonderfully picturesque town on the Rive Blackwater, midway between Braintree and Colchester, you are truly spoilt for choice. Dog walkers and joggers will love Chalkney Woods, especially in the Spring when the woodland floor has huge swathes of bluebells. The Owen Martin Nature Reserve has recently undergone a revamp with the planting of fruit trees and creation of new paths to walk around. This quiet and secluded spot is perfect for a picnic or just to enjoy the peace. Families will enjoy the recreation ground, or rec as it is known locally. There is a playground and basketball court and in the summer months, there are often events such as a fete and carnival. There’s a huge garden to explore at Paycocke, a Tudor merchant house owned by the National Trust. There is also a little coffee shop where you can buy plants.
Work from home or the office
Whether you are working at home or need to commute into a London office, living in Coggeshall can come out on top in both scenarios. You can have a quiet homeworking spot together with good local amenities and access to lovely lunchtime walks on work from home days. When you need to go into the office, Kelvedon Station is just under two miles away and there is a reliable bus to get you there. Trains go to Liverpool street in as little as 48 minutes, less than an hour door to door. Other local stations include Marks Tey and Braintree.
For families moving to the area, Coggeshall is home to plenty of schools, with many rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Should you wish to privately educate your children, there are also various options nearby. It’s easy to immerse yourself in the community with the various local playgroups and the Coggeshall Youth Project offers different groups for children to attend so they can make friends and take part in various activities.
Embrace the wonderful local culinary scene in Coggeshall where you will be within a few minutes’ walk of pubs that trace their ancestry back to the middle ages. From vegan to award-winning, Coggeshall delivers a huge range of options for every taste and budget. Ranfield’s Brasseries is a 2AA rosette restaurant on Stoneham Street. A sophisticated interior, the restaurant offers a number of different menus including light lunch bites, Sunday lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Gin connoisseurs should head to Copper and Cask where they offer a tasting service for their craft gins including Coggeshall Gin made with lavender and citrus. At The Chapel Inn, the fresh produce is sourced locally and is cooked to order by Head Chef who has trained under and worked alongside a British TV MasterChef. Pub classics alongside quality specials at affordable prices. Not to be missed is West Street Vineyard, a family-owned restaurant and winery with great local sustainable wine and food. The ultimate in English fine wines, combined with delicious local food in a contemporary wine barn to create a memorable experience with family and friends.
Sights to see
With a rich wealth of history, Coggeshall boasts many noteworthy buildings including two owned by the National Trust. Grange Barn is a huge 13th-century timber-framed building associated with a long lost Cistercian abbey. The second is Paycockes, a medieval timber-framed merchant’s house. One of the most iconic sights in Coggeshall is the blue and white painted Clock Tower, just a few steps up from the market place. To find out more about the area, take a trip to Coggeshall Museum, which houses a collection of genealogical resources, historic artefacts, old photographs and other historic objects donated by local people. For a bit of a grisly look back in history, at the bottom of Stoneham Street is the site of the Black Horse, once an inn frequented by the Coggeshall Gang, a band of violent criminals whose grip over the town in the 1840s has been described as a ‘reign of terror’. Today, the village could not be further away from this as residents and visitors can sit by the River Blackwater to feed the ducks and soak up the tranquillity. Afterwards, browse the boutiques and independent shops on the high street and enjoy the very best that Coggeshall has to offer.
Becoming Part of Coggeshall
Coggeshall West comprising just 48 three, four and five bedrooms houses is due to be launched late October with first occupations taking place in the summer of 2021.